Abstract

The long-lived Andean subduction zone underwent several flat slab episodes and is therefore ideal to study the consequences of a complete cycle of slab flattening and steepening on the upper plate deformation pattern. In the modern Peruvian forearc (15°–17°S), slab flattening caused a Paleogene (52–30 Ma) landward migration of volcanic activity. Combining structural geology and a source-to-sink thermochronological study, we show that the flat slab period is contemporaneous with uplift accommodated by large-scale crustal extension in the forearc. In this light, we argue that the study area is an ancient analog to the modern Mexican and northern Peruvian forearcs located above modern flat slab segments and currently undergoing widespread extension.

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